Author: Brian L Hughes. People with disabilities are 1 Billion people strong worldwide making us the world’s largest diverse segment that crosses lines of age, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, race, sexual orientation and socioeconomic status. While I’m a person who uses a wheelchair, other job seekers with intellectual or learning disabilities, visual and hearing impairments and those on the autism spectrum also are seeking rewarding employment and careers.
Best Places to Work for Disability Inclusion
The Disability Equality Index (DEI) is a joint initiative of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) and Disability: IN, a nonprofit organization that advises businesses on how to achieve disability inclusion and equality. It was originally developed by an advisory committee made up of a mix of business leaders, policy experts, and disability advocates, with the goal of creating “a national, transparent, annual benchmarking tool that offers businesses an opportunity to receive an objective score, on a scale of 0 to 100, on their disability inclusion policies and practices.”
Companies that receive a score of 80 or above are considered “DEI Best Places to Work for Disability Inclusion” and offer a good starting place for people with learning differences or disabilities researching inclusive workplaces, as they journey towards meaningful work. It’s important to note that the DEI focuses on Fortune 1000 companies with a major U.S. presence– you won’t find small companies or non-profits on this list.
5 Steps To A More Disability Inclusive Workplace
- Promote a company culture of diversity and inclusion by hiring more persons with disabilities.
- Work directly with disabled employees not just on their accommodations, but creating a welcoming environment where they are treated as equals.
- Bring the company’s image in line with inclusion. Communication like the company’s mission statements, branding materials, photographs and imagery, and website can all be optimized to visually demonstrate their commitment to disabled employees.
- Leverage technology to empower employees. There are many organizations out there that are devoted to making their tools and software accessible to all, and employers who are becoming more inclusive will find technology to be an invaluable resource.
- Develop inclusive managers, leaders and executives. Inclusive leaders excel in four key areas. They bring awareness and clarity to problem areas, they practice courageous accountability to
- Help resolve those problems, they empower others, and they foster innovative collaboration to unlock the unique contributions of each person in a group.
Does your organization’s diversity and inclusion strategy focus mainly on gender, race, ethnic and LGBTQI talent groups? Is disability inclusion a compliance matter, all about ADA accommodations, or a business imperative as the companies recognized by The Disability Equality Index (DEI)?
About the Author
Brian L. Hughes is a highly sought-after global consultant, speaker and coach. He has achieved great success in linking inclusive leadership competencies with agile business practices for leading organizations. Brian defines inclusive leadership as; leaders that bring awareness and clarity to problem areas, they practice courageous accountability to help resolve those problems, they empower others, and they foster innovative collaboration to unlock the unique contributions of each person in a group. To invite Brian as a keynote speaker on inclusive leadership or disability inclusion, please connect with Brian on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/brianlhughes01/